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Wallaby backrow one of 5 debutants named in Glasgow side for URC opener

By PA

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Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson could hand out five debuts in the United Rugby Championship opener against Ulster.

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On-loan Cardiff player Brad Thyer and fellow prop Simon Berghan, a summer signing from Edinburgh, will start in the pack in front of Australian international Jack Dempsey, who arrived after seven years with Super Rugby side NSW Waratahs.

Scottish-qualified Australian-born signing Sione Tuipulotu is rewarded an impressive pre-season with a debut at outside centre while former Edinburgh prop Murray McCallum could make his first appearance off the bench.

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RugbyPass Offload | S2 EP2 | Rugby Returns with Jack Nowell, Ryan Wilson & Max Lahiff
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RugbyPass Offload | S2 EP2 | Rugby Returns with Jack Nowell, Ryan Wilson & Max Lahiff

Fly-half Duncan Weir will make his first Warriors appearance since 2016 after returning from a spell in England while Jamie Bhatti is on the bench as he bids to make his first appearance since the 2019 PRO14 final, after which he played for Edinburgh and Bath.

Warriors are looking for their first victory at the Kingspan Stadium since 2013 and Wilson believes the challenge will be a good precursor for the new tests they will face from the four South African newcomers to the league.

“Ulster are probably no different to a South African side – a very powerful side, a very powerful pack of forwards, and they will want to play a very specific style of rugby,” Wilson said.

“Ulster away is a big start, one of the big-hitters, and playing them at their place in front of a crowd, which is a big part of Ulster, a big part of the Kingspan, having a packed house.

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“It’s a big challenge but one the boys will be extremely motivated about, and one where we want to put down a marker and say what we are about.”

Matt and Zander Fagerson, Thomas Gordon, Pete Horne, Oli Kebble, Kiran McDonald, Ewan McQuillin, Ali Price, Ratu Tagive and George Turner are all unavailable for Warriors.

GLASGOW WARRIORS TEAM WITH CAPS:
1. Brad Thyer (0)
2. Johnny Matthews (12)
3. Simon Berghan (0)
4. Scott Cummings (78)
5. Richie Gray (61)
6. Ryan Wilson (C) (192)
7. Rory Darge (4)
8. Jack Dempsey (0)
9. George Horne (66)
10. Duncan Weir
11. Rufus McLean
12. Sam Johnson (72)
13. Sione Tuipulotu (0)
14. Kyle Steyn (31)
15. Cole Forbes (6)

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Fraser Brown (109)
17. Jamie Bhatti (47)
18. Murray McCallum (0)
19. Lewis Bean (5)
20. Rob Harley (252)
21. Jamie Dobie (19)
22. Ross Thompson (13)
23. Ollie Smith (7)

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PRO 14    

Wallaby backrow one of 5 debutants named in Glasgow side for URC opener

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